Extended Job Support Scheme from 1 November 2020
Update: The Job Support Scheme has now been deferred and will not start until the Job Retention Scheme closes (currently expected to be 30 November 2020)
The Chancellor has made changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which will run from 1 December 2020 to 30 April 2021. There are now two versions of the scheme: JSS Open and JSS Closed.
To make a claim under either scheme, employers must have a UK bank account and be registered with a UK PAYE scheme on or before 23 September 2020.
Employers can only claim for employees that were in their employment on 23 September 2020. Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
The JSS applies to all employers facing decreased demand. The basic outline is:
- The minimum hours an employee is required to work is 20%. Accordingly, employees working one day a week will now qualify.
- Government will pay 61.67% of hours not worked up to a monthly cap per employee of £1,541.75.
- Employers will need to cover 5% of hours not worked up to a monthly cap of £125.
Benefits for employees
Employees who are laid off, but still work at least one day a week, will receive two-thirds of their pay for hours not worked – up to the monthly caps set out above.
Employees receiving the JSS Open grant cannot be made redundant or placed on notice of redundancy if employer is claiming the JSS Open for that employee.
Benefit for employers
Under the original JSS scheme employers were faced with paying one-third of hours not worked. Under the JSS Open this is now reduced to just 5%.
This extended support will be available to businesses across the UK that are legally required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions. It will include premises restricted to delivery or collection only services from their premises. (Businesses required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks by local public health authorities are not eligible to claim under this extended JSS scheme.)
Employers will only be able to use the scheme for employees who cannot work (paid or unpaid) for that employer. Employees must be off work for a minimum seven consecutive days.
What are the additional benefits offered?
Government will pay two-thirds of employees’ monthly salaries up to a maximum £2,100 per month, per employee.
Employers will not be required to contribute to wages and will only have to pay any National Insurance and pension costs.
A word of caution for employers
For both schemes, claims for November will be processed in December via an online portal. Subsequent months’ claims will thus be paid one month in arrears. Employers will need to accommodate the cash-flow consequences as wages will need to be paid before any JSS grants are received.
As with other government grants, HMRC will check claims and demand repayments of any claims made incorrectly or fraudulently. In particular, employers must agree and notify claims in writing with affected employees. HMRC may ask to see these written agreements.
HMRC have also indicated that they will be publishing the names of employers that have claimed under the scheme.
The full HMRC guidance is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-job-support-scheme/the-job-support-scheme